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Self-Tapping Screws: What They Are and When to Use Them

When you are looking for fasteners, you are trying to evaluate the situation and pick the best way to put materials together. Fastening one or more pieces of light, medium, or heavy gage sheet metal together may require the use of adhesives, riveting, or self-tapping screws. If an application requires access or several layers, tapping screws maybe the best option.

First of all, what is a self-tapping screw? Tapping screws are designed to cut their own hole as it is screwed into the materials. This creates a good snug fit between the mating threads and also allows the parts to be reassembled if necessary.

The three basic types of tapping screws are Self-Tapping, Self-Drilling, and Self-Piercing.

Self-Tapping: Cuts its own thread while being driven into the mating material. It makes a small hole while entering the material which creates a tight friction fit between the threads. This helps fight vibration loosening and allows the parts to be taken apart if needed. Mostly used in 1-2-layer thin gage sheet metal applications.

Self-Drilling: Similar to the self-tapping, it has a drill shaped point which allows it to cut through thick and hard material without having to drill a pilot hole.

Self-Piercing: This screw has the ability to pierce the material at sharp angles. Between 25 to 30 degrees at high speeds.

Note: The Self-Tapping family of screws may cause chips of metal between the mating parts which limits their use in electrical, food and other applications.

To learn more about how to use self-tapping screws, contact us at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.

Self-Tapping Screws: What They Are and When to Use Them by
July 01, 2016

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